Accused Pentagon shooter pleads guilty in Va.

January 26, 2012 - 12:15 PM

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — An ex-Marine from Virginia has pleaded guilty to charges that he fired shots at the Pentagon, the Marine Corps museum in Quantico and other military-related targets.

A plea-agreement hearing was held Thursday for 24-year-old Yonathan Melaku (meh-LAH-koo) of Alexandria. He agreed to a 25-year sentence in the case.

Prosecutors charged Melaku last year, saying they had evidence linking him to a series of overnight shootings in 2010 at a number of military buildings in northern Virginia. No one was injured.

Melaku was arrested in June when he was spotted after dark in Arlington National Cemetery with a backpack containing potential explosives material and notations referring to jihad and Osama bin Laden. He apparently intended to spray paint tombstones with Arabic graffiti.